Intermix / October 1. 2013 / $11.16 print, $3.79 digital
Rock star River Wilde brought Dahlia London back from the brink of hopelessness with his unwavering love and devotion. But their entangled history is about to test the strength of their relationship
Dahlia was certain she had found true love and met her "Once in a Lifetime’ when she reconnected with River. But Dahlia’s world comes crashing down when someone from her past resurfaces, and all of River’s carefully hidden secrets are exposed.
River wants to show Dahlia that life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass—it’s about dancing in the rain. But how many times can one broken heart be mended? Will River and Dahlia be able to stay together or will they be torn apart?
In Kim Karr’s Torn (Book 2 in the Connections series), Dahlia’s past has come back to tear at the foundation of her relationship with River. But it might just be River’s demons that will shatter everything—River’s father was a musician who chased the spotlight falling just short of the fame he wanted, not once, but twice. After his second failure, the only thing he chased was the bottom of a bottle.
River's father wanted his children to succeed where he failed. He taught his three children to play the guitar and the piano and forced his love of music onto his children until it became a punishment, not a pleasure. While his siblings refused to follow their father’s dream, River found his own love and talent for creating music. But unlike his father, River’s love for creating music does not extend to a desire to stand in the spotlight.
The Wilde Ones have enjoyed years of moderate success playing small gigs and cutting a rather successful album. With River’s brother Xander as their manager, he is pushing for a deal with a record company for The Wilde Ones’ next album including a multi-city tour.
Touring was constant infringement on my personal space. I hated the cramped quarters, lack of privacy, constant strict schedule, never being in the same city for more than two nights, people following you everywhere, people always wanting something from you. Even the girls throwing themselves at you got old. It was the longest year of my life, but I did it for him because somewhere along the way his dreamed morphed into mine. What I came to realize was that his dream wasn’t mine—my dad thought being on tour meant you had made it. His dream was about being famous. Mine is about the music.
Standing in the spotlight in a major venue and months on the road is the last thing River wants to do. Added to that, his relationship with Dahlia is becoming strained and they don’t need the time apart. He fears his will lose the love of his life if he isn’t here to fight for her.
I lean down next to him and stroke his check with my thumb. “River, why are you doing this now?”
He squeezes his eyes shut for a few seconds. “I just can’t do it. I never wanted it to begin with and now with everything else going on, my heart just isn’t in it.”
“River, you cannot quit because of us.”
If River won’t go on tour, the record company could destroy the band’s career, and after years of trying, River doesn’t know if he could do that to his friends and to his brother. His relationship with his brother is strained, his friends know their careers depend on River coming on tour, and Dahlia is being left to fight her past all on her own. River needs to decide between the band and Dahlia and choosing one over the other is tearing at his soul.
There’s a hard knock and the front door swings open. Xander stands there scowling.
River ignores him. Pain contorts his features.
Xander isn’t going to be ignored. He walks right over to River and says, “I want to talk to you now!”
“Fuck off, Xander.” River’s voice was low and filled with fury. I don’t think he’s even trying to control himself as his hands clench into fists.
I flinch when Xander grabs River by the shirt and gets right in his face. “Listen to me. I said I want to talk to you and it isn’t a choice,” he seethes.
“Let’s sit down and talk about this.” I tell him this suppressing my own temper.
His voice sounds rough, broken even. He shakes his head just once. “I don’t want to fucking deal with all this shit anymore!”
With the growing pressure to go on tour and Dahlia’s past trying to take her away from River, he is barely holding himself together. His fuse is short and his own drinking has increased. With his life shattering in all directions, can he keep himself together to save his relationship with Dahlia or will he walk away from both fame and the love of his life?
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Torn by Kim Karr (out on October 1, 2013):
Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog http://ebookobsessed.com. Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.